Eight U.S. troops were killed on Tuesday bringing the total number of U.S troops killed in October in Afghanistan to 55.
The previous high occurred in August, when 51 U.S. soldiers died.
General Stanley McChrystal (favored son of General Herbert McChrystal) is in charge of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, McChrystal’s strategy the same as that of charismatic and daring Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.
For those who may not remember, Custer, surrounded by the Native Americans, was slaughtered along with all his troops in the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. The battle has come to be popularly known as “Custer’s Last Stand.”
McChrystal, like Custer, follows the strategy of making daring penetrations deep into enemy territory. Custer did it on horseback; McChrystal uses helicopters to fly his troops into areas controlled by the enemy.
This time-honored strategy of failure was immortalized in 1854 by Alfred Lord Tennyson in his poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade.
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Their’s not to make reply,
Their’s not to reason why,
Their’s but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
One of McChrystal’s daring last stands resulted in the worst attack on U.S. forces in 14 months. On October 3rd, 2009, Eight American soldiers and two Afghan policemen were killed, with many injured.
The U.S. soldiers had been ferried into a pair of isolated American outposts in a remote mountainous area of eastern Afghanistan. They were attacked by about 300 Taliban who swarmed out of a village and mosque with machineguns, rockets and grenades.
The battle lasted all day. American and Afghan soldiers finally repelled them, with the help of US helicopters and warplanes – but with the heavy cost.
Most of McChrystal’s work over his 33-year career remains classified. His service as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), an elite unit, was so clandestine that the Pentagon for years refused to acknowledge its existence.
As leader of JSOC, McChrystal was well-experienced with the running of clandestine prisons, torture and assassinations. Unfortunately, this did not include any battlefield experience.
Prior to Afghanistan, McChrystal was best known for his role in the cover up that Corporal Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire. McChrystal was one of eight officers recommended for discipline by a subsequent Pentagon investigation but the Army declined to take action against him.
Now that General McChrystal is losing the war in Afghanistan, he has decided to advise President Obama on what to do next.
It was the daring Custer’s final humiliation at the Battle of Little Big Horn that he was killed by a 5’4″ Northern Cheyenne woman named Buffalo Calf.
General McChrystal runs no such risk – he runs his battles from a laptop.